How to Write an Effective and Successful PhD Thesis Introduction

Like the cherry on the cake, PhD thesis writing is the crowning achievement of your research. While a PhD thesis summarises and presents the results of your long-term investigating efforts, an introduction is a showcase of your thesis.

The first thing a reader will look into is the introduction so that they can understand what your thesis is all about. Most importantly, they’re working out whether it is worth paying attention to it at all. If you’re not sure about the strength of your dissertation you can ask for PhD thesis writing help from professional writing services.

student writing their PhD thesis introduction on laptop

Your introduction will say a lot about the quality of the entire thesis, hence it is important to pay special attention to it. Normally, the introduction briefly outlines all other chapters of the thesis although does not describe them in detail. Here is a typical structure of a PhD thesis introduction.


An outsider reader is not familiar with the research field as closely as you are. Therefore, you have to introduce it to the public. What is the current state of affairs? What is the scope of the research? What is the context? By disclosing these points, you immerse the reader into the world of your work and show its significance.

Research problem, research question(s) and motivation for the research

The next thing you should reveal is why you are undertaking the research. It is most likely that there has been previous existing research on the topic. So, why are you doing this? The centre of the research is the problem that has not been addressed by the scholars. Formulate it appropriately to show the gap in the existing knowledge on the topic.

Moreover, you should substantiate why this problem is important and has to be solved. Next, you should formulate research questions so that answering them will help to solve the research problem. Finally, you should show why this problem has to be paid attention to and what your motivation for conducting the research is. These may be the interest and the perspective of the topic as well as your previous accomplishments in this sphere.

Research aim and objectives

Based on the research questions, you formulate the research aim. The aim is what you expect to obtain as a result of your efforts. It can be decomposed into research objectives in the format of particular actions such as exploring this, determining the factors of that, estimating the significance of the relationship between this and that, developing a model of this and testing it in a specific context. For each objective, you will further specify the research hypotheses which will present the expected outcomes of your actions.

Author’s contribution to the existing body of knowledge

One of the most interesting points of the thesis is the author’s contribution. It may not be worthy of the Nobel prize, but the PhD thesis implies independent research and adding something new and significant to the existing knowledge. Since the introduction will likely be written after conducting the main body of the research so that its main results will already be known, you should outline what you have attained in your work and what it gives to science in general.

Methodology of your PhD thesis

While there is no sense in describing the methodology in detail in your thesis introduction, as it will have its own chapter. It is a good idea to show the readers how exactly you are doing your research. What data have you used? Where have you taken them? What methods have you applied? According to these details, an experienced reader can get an idea of the course of the entire study.

Structure of the thesis

Finally, you should give a reader an idea of how your research is organised. If they are interested in the details of your study, they will be able to go to a particular chapter or section and obtain the required information.

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